Probate Property Transfers Lawyer in Los Angeles, CA
When a person dies, their property must be transferred out of their estate — ownership must change. Generally speaking, the procedure for transferring property in California involves the probate process, a court-supervised procedure for closing out the estate.
Property Transfer Through California Probate
In California, if the estate assets that qualify for probate are worth more than $100,000, then the property may only be distributed to the beneficiaries after going through probate. Probate is a formal process that requires the appointment of an Executor or Administrator and that requires such party to collect, identify, and appraise the estate assets, manage the assets, pay taxes and debts, resolve conflicts between beneficiaries, and distribute the remainder to the named beneficiaries. On the whole, California probate can be rather expensive and time-consuming, and so it is best avoided in many cases.
Title Ownership Change in Los Angeles, CA
Not all property is defined as a probate asset. In fact, many categories of property qualify as non-probate assets and — regardless of the value of said property — will always avoid probate.
Non-probate assets include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:
- Payable-on-death accounts
- Life insurance benefits
- Retirement benefits
- Property held in joint tenancy
- Community property
- And more!
Suppose that the decedent held real estate property in joint tenancy with a friend. After the death of the deceased, the beneficiary-friend would like to avoid the hassle of going through probate in California. In reality, because the property was held in joint tenancy, ownership automatically passes to the “joint tenant” — here, the surviving friend. Though probate may not be necessary to transfer the property to the beneficiary-friend, paperwork will have to be completed and submitted to the court to clarify the sole ownership of the property (as well as its previous joint tenancy structure).
Property Transfer Through Simplified Probate in Northridge, CA
Depending on the circumstances, simplified mechanisms of probate may be available. You’ll want to consult with an experienced San Fernando Valley probate attorney for further guidance, as qualification can turn on minor factual issues. For example, if all the property in the Will is clearly intended to pass to the surviving spouse, and all such property qualifies as “community property,” then the surviving spouse can petition the court to gain access to a simplified property transfer procedure.
Property Transfer Through Affidavit in Chatsworth, California
In California, if the estate is worth $150,000 or less, then beneficiaries may secure a property transfer through the affidavit process. Going through the affidavit process saves money and time, as there is no need to go to court. The beneficiary need only submit an affidavit to the person, company, or bank that currently has possession over the property (the affidavit must identify the property to be transferred) and have all other heirs and beneficiaries sign off on the affidavit.
Call Today for a Free Consultation with an Experienced Mission Hills Probate Attorney
If you are the Executor of an estate, or simply an interested party — such as one of the named beneficiaries in the Will — then you may be wondering about the process for transferring the estate assets. In California, the transfer of property through probate (or outside of probate) can be significantly affected by various circumstances, such as how the property is held prior to the death of the decedent.
Here at the Law Offices of Darrell C. Harriman in North Hills, CA, we have extensive experience representing clients in handling property transfers, whether through probate or outside of the probate process. We are committed to personalized legal representation, and to that end, we work closely with clients from beginning to end of the California estate administration process to ensure that their concerns are addressed and their strategic objectives are met.
Call (818) 946-0968 or submit an online form today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Los Angeles probate attorney at the Law Offices of Darrell C. Harriman.